Dorset Fire Authority votes for merger

Fire chiefs in Dorset have voted in favour a merger between the county's fire authority and that of Wiltshire and Swindon.

A full merger - the preferred option considered by the authority - is likely to save Dorset £6m a year by 2017-18, according to a report.

Wiltshire and Swindon Fire Authority is due to vote next week.

The plan would have to be agreed by government before a single combined fire authority could be created.

The authorities have said by 2017 it was expected the Wiltshire service would be facing a £4.2m deficit and Dorset £3.7m.

Other options considered by the authorities involved closer collaboration with local authorities and with each other.

Wiltshire and Swindon Combined Fire Authority acts as the overall governing body for the fire and rescue service and has 13 Members - nine from Wiltshire Council and four from Swindon Borough Council.

Dorset Fire Authority consists of 15 Members appointed by the three constituent authorities of Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole.

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